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George Mokray is WorldChanging

The Four Freedoms

"In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

"The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.

"The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.

"The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.

"The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor -- anywhere in the world. That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called 'new order' of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb."

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on January 6, 1941, eleven months before Pearl Harbor.

These are the values for which the USA fought World War II. These are the values we should be fighting for today. If we all took them to heart, it would indeed be world changing.

George Mokray is a writer and troublemaker. He lives halfway between Harvard and MIT and asks impolitic questions at both.

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v. nice, gmoke.

Posted by: Emily Gertz on 4 Oct 04

ah, the roots of the neoconservative cabal laid bare! today's anti-imperialists looking for language to reveal the utter bankruptcy at the heart of 'President' Bush's foreign 'policy' should read a little history and see how brave progressives of the '40s courageously and patriotically deconstructed Roosevelt's provocation of Japan and his rationale for entering *that* accursed war.

Posted by: John Atkinson on 4 Oct 04

One of the reasons I went back to look at the Four Freedoms speech (more honored in its breach than its reality from FDR until it has been forgotten) is that Victor Davis Hanson, conservative pundit and Ancient Greek historian, said that we fought WWII to end the Holocaust on his three hour intensive on CSPANII a couple of months ago.

The ideals of the Four Freedoms are straight, level, and plumb. They are true in the way a carpenter talks about true. How they may have been used is another question altogether.

Posted by: gmoke on 6 Oct 04



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